Working Together to Save Our Culture: Creating a Tribal Register of Historical Places


Not long ago, the Spirit Lake Oyate and Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate were a single band, part of the Dakota Nation, living in the homeland we had occupied for millennia. Manifest Destiny, greed, and racism led to war and the establishment of reservations. Over the decades, the US Government separated our people as they divided the land for settlement. Today, we are working together to bring our people back together based on the places that matter the most.

Together the Spirit Lake Tribe and the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate have collaborated with Heritage Consultation Solutions, the North Dakota State Historic Preservation Office, the Montana State Historic Preservation Office, and the Iowa Department of Transportation to develop the establishment of the Tribal Historic Preservation Registers on our Reservations. A Tribal Historic Register affords us proper participation in the national and state historic preservation programs - based on recognition of tribal sovereignty and respect for tribal cultural values. Developing a tribal register give us a powerful tool in preserving our culture. In addition, it has a strong spiritual component, which takes into consideration our practices and knowledge recognizing cultural and sometimes religious significance of places, and also properly records, preserves and stores this sensitive information.

Cite this Record

Working Together to Save Our Culture: Creating a Tribal Register of Historical Places. Robert O'Boyle, Erich Longie, Dianne Desrosiers. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430087)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -113.95; min lat: 30.751 ; max long: -97.163; max lat: 48.865 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17237